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Posted: Monday, June 2nd 2014 at 4:25pm

Habersham County purchases used fire truck

By Rob Moore Editor
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Habersham County Commission Chairman Chad Henderson and Commissioner Sonny James talk with County Manager Phil Sutton during Monday morning's called meeting. (Photo/Rob Moore)
CLARKESVILLE - Habersham County government officials say Monday morning's vote to purchase a used fire truck is a good way to update the county's fleet without undue financial burden on taxpayers.

Director of Fleet Service Steve Seabolt said the 2001 Ferrara Freightliner should see less maintenance issues than the 1989 truck it will replace.

The $85,000 purchase from Bradford Fire Apparatus (Bradford Tri-County Marketing Inc.) in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., will come from the current Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

"This is the best deal in a truck that we can find," Seabolt said. "It's actually owned by Palm Beach Fire Department, and the company that we're looking at bought four of them from them, and we went down and looked at the truck we wanted out of the three they had left."

Per the advertisement for bids, the truck features an 8.3-liter Cummins engine, Allison automatic transmission, air-conditioned cab, electric siren and siren speaker, two air horns, two telescoping lights, a lightbar, two rear strobe lights, 10 flashing lights and two rear scene lights, three new batteries, a top-mount Hale 1250 Pump with 750-gallon poly tank, a Honda powered generator, booster reel with hose, deck gun, 24-foot extension ladder, 14-foot roof ladder, and 10-foot folding attic ladder.

The other bid received was from Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus LLC in Union Grove, Ala., but that bid did not qualify because it was for a pre-2000 model fire truck. The advertisement for bids specified it was the purchase of a used 2000 or newer truck.

Habersham County Commission Chairman Chad Henderson said the truck replacement is needed.

"Right now we're running a 1989 truck, and that's a front-line truck," Henderson said. "That truck is starting to give us a few problems here and there. There are some things about it that aren't necessarily as mechanically dependable as a newer truck would be."

And county leaders say purchasing the used truck that will be based at one of the county's volunteer stations will complement the trucks used at the stations manned by paid firefighters.

Seabolt said the truck will have the 8.3 Cummins engine found in the county's newer trucks, and will last for several years to come.

Henderson agreed.

"If we put it in one of the lesser used stations that will only make it run a few thousand miles a year, that truck will last 10-15 more years," Henderson said.

Henderson said the truck will be one of the top five trucks in the county, and will come at a bargain over the price paid to put a new truck in one of the paid stations, which accumulate many more miles per year.

"That motor should get 350,000 miles," Seabolt said.

Seabolt said county personnel would have to go down and drive the truck back, but the night they get back the truck will be ready to go in service immediately.

"We're spending $85,000 as opposed to $360,000 or $370,000 for a new truck, so we're trying to be fiscally responsible while taking our responsibilities for life safety very, very seriously in the county by providing the firemen with the equipment they need," Henderson said.
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